Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Public Deserves A Response

Ken O’Brien

For the second time in two weeks citizen Steve Demers appeared to speak during Citizens Forum at the Town Council Meeting of May 5.

The appearance was as a follow-up to his appearance at the meeting of April 27th, and was in response to comments made by the Town Manager at the close of that meeting.

During his comments Mr. Demers apologized to any officers who may have been offended by his earlier remarks. However, his remarks indicated his feelings that his initial comments had basically been ignored. 

Following his initial remarks I looked into the matter he was addressing. From the beginning of the year to the time of his remarks I reviewed the reports of burglaries and motor vehicle break-ins, theft and vandalism as contained in the weekly police reports contained in the Southbridge Evening News.

From the period covering January 1 to April 13 these reports averaged about four per week (ranging from a low of 1 to one case of 8). Interestingly, for the two weeks of April 14 to April 27 the number of incidents tripled to 11 and 12 respectively, before returning to 4 such incidents the following week.

Over the same period there were 13 reported arrests for related incidents over the period January 1 to April 12.

I am of the opinion that Mr. Demers remarks at the April 27 meeting warranted at least a response 

from the Chief of Police. I had hoped that such a response would be forthcoming at the May 5th meeting. Unfortunately this was not the case. 

I hope that this will be rectified at the next meeting of the Council. I believe that a citizen and taxpayer deserves at least that much.

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